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November 25, 2020

In Conversation With

Controlling your identity with GlobaliD


The Future of Self-Sovereign Identity

Data privacy has seeped into the public consciousness with events like Twitter’s high-profile hack last week. Self-sovereign identity is more important than ever.

(10:53) Greg Kidd, GlobaliD CEO and co-founder, explained that the idea of a self-sovereign identity is that you own your identity rather than a particular company or government. GlobaliD has built this out on the concept of a name-space, which is an identity encapsulated into a name, similar to a Twitter or Skype handle. (11:17) “All the attributes of your identity, the verifications, and the proofs are attached to that name. You ought to be able to take it anywhere you go and authenticate yourself and get authorization.”

Kidd further explained,

(12:12) “We’re just a protocol that lets you control [your identity] yourself. So at this time of increasing hacks, increasing concerns about surveillance, this is a new way of thinking about identity that puts controls in the hands of the individual,” said Kidd.

(14:37) GlobaliD will look to do more with Blockstack down the road. They picked Uphold as a first use case because they have a couple of million users and they work with Brave, which is another partner GlobaliD is looking to work with.

Kidd has been a long-time Twitter investor and reacted to the social media platform’s recent hack of high-profile accounts, saying:

(21:15) “I haven’t talked to Jack about it. Twitter still is, it’s been 15-years now, it’s like a 15 year old construct. And so Twitter still, like most legacy offerings, has this concept that your identity in Twitter is still like a user handle attached essentially to a phone number, and it’s kind of the oldest trick in the book.”

(21:42) He describes the ease in which the SIM swap process can happen, warning that it is going to continue to happen.

(22:16) “As long as identity is still attached to something that is your phone number or your email address, that’s a big attack vector. And until you move to a concept of identity where those are indicators but that’s not actually your identity, you’re going to continue to have these compromises.”

(22:48) Kidd was the tenth person hired at Ripple and served as the blockchain startup’s chief risk officer. He commented on the blacklisting of stablecoin addresses, saying it’s a “one-step removed type of solution,” pointing out, (23:43) “In the blockchain world, one of the key compliance issues is it’s not for sending money; you could receive money from any other address….and that organization might be a terrorist organization, it might be a criminal organization.”

(24:40) “Blacklisting is better than nothing but…if you think you’re really going to be effective with that strategy and that’s your primary method, there are some unpleasant things that are going to happen,” said Kidd.

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Gerelyn Terzo
Gerelyn caught wind of bitcoin in mid-2017 and after learning about the peer-to-peer nature of Satoshi's creation has never looked back. Previously she covered institutional investing and fintech for several major trade publications. Gerelyn resides in Verona, N.J.

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